If you’re blogging as a business, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about income. But how often do we think about expenses?  I remember when my friend Megan from Sweet Sauce outlined her blog expenses, and as a blogger, I thought it was SO helpful to see the true cost of doing business. The financial pieces might not sound exciting, but if you’re trying to run your blog as a business, you have to know where your money is going. I outlined my typical monthly costs to give you a sense of what it costs to keep my site, I Heart Vegetables, up and running.

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Liz Thomson Headshot_

Monthly Website Expenses

Web Hosting- $80. I use WPopt to host my website and VirginiaBloggers.com. There are cheaper hosting options out there but now that my blog is my full-time job, I wanted premium hosting. Paying a little more for hosting means my site is faster, I get help when I need it, and I don’t have to worry about it crashing.

iMark Support- $25. I pay for a service to keep my website secure, my plugins up to date, and be available 24/7 in case my site ever crashes. Honestly, it’s like paying $25 for the peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, I have someone that can fix it.

Mailchimp- $75. Mailchimp has been a great email program, but it’s not (always) free. As you hit a certain number of subscribers, the price goes up. More subscribers = more costs. While I’m happy that my email list has grown over the years, it definitely gets expensive!

Monthly Software Services

Adobe- $10. I pay a monthly subscription fee for Lightroom. Now that I’m head over heels in love with Lightroom, I may decide to purchase it outright, so I don’t have to avoid paying the fee. But the subscription has been a nice option while I figured things out, and it’s nice to always have the latest software.

Canva- $13. I have the premium version of Canva because I use it all the time. This gives me access to more templates, design options, themes, and more. This tool has been a lifesaver since I’m terrible with graphic design work.

SEM Rush- $25. This is an analytics tool that allows me to do keyword research, analyze my site, and find ways to optimize it for search engines. SEM Rush is a complex tool, but it’s definitely helped me improve my search traffic.

Nutrifox-$8. Technically it’s $89 for the year, but that works out to about $8 a month. This service generates the nutritional information of my recipes in a streamlined way. Since my readers (and Google!) like having that information, it’s worth the investment.

Premium Theme Plugin- $8. I purchased a theme template for my site, but to get the latest and greatest updates, I have to pay $100 a year. It’s not ideal, but until I redesign my site, I’m stuck with it.

Other Blogging Expenses

Groceries- Since I’m a food blogger, I’m able to expense groceries that I’m specifically purchasing for a recipe. (This doesn’t mean I can expense all my food!) Depending on what recipes I’m working on for the month, this tends to be around $120.

Equipment– I recently splurged on a new camera, which was about $2,000. I’ve also purchased camera lenses, photography backgrounds, computer equipment, a new cell phone, etc. These aren’t reoccurring expenses, but they add up quickly.

Education– Last year, I paid for a business coach, a food blogging course, and a PR class. Believe it or not, these investments cost thousands of dollars. That may sound crazy, but I knew I wanted to turn this into a full-time business, and that’s what I needed to do it. Was it expensive? You better believe it. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

So what does it cost to be a full-time food blogger?

A lot of money! My monthly website expenses are around $244. But once I add in groceries, equipment, education, occasional advertising costs, and travel, it can add up quickly!

I hope this gives you an idea of how to budget your income and ways you might be able to save!